Jean Valentine was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1934 and received a BA from Radcliffe College in 1956. She is the author of ten books of poetry, including The Cradle of Real Life (Wesleyan, 2000) and her newest book, Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems (Wesleyan, 2004). Valentine’s first book, published in 1965, was the recipient of the Yale Younger Poets Prize. Valentine has also been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Maurice English Prize, a Sara Teasdale Award, and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Bunting Institute, The Rockefeller Foundation, and The New York Council for the Arts.
Valentine has taught at Swarthmore College, Barnard College, Yale University, Bucknell University, American University, The University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Cincinnati. She is currently a teacher at Sarah Lawrence College,
the Graduate Writing Programs of New York University and Columbia University, and the 92nd Street Y. She lives in New York City.